Bachelor of Science

As society places greater emphasis on preventative healthcare, the need for professionals to help people make smarter food and fitness choices is rapidly increasing. Explore our Didactic Program in Dietetics (NDPD) as you work towards a rewarding career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

As society places greater emphasis on preventative healthcare, the need for professionals to help people make smarter food and fitness choices is rapidly increasing. Explore our Didactic Program in Dietetics (NDPD) as you work towards a rewarding career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

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August 1

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Are you interested in nutrition?

At ACU, we are here for you on your journey to success, and it starts with answering your questions. Let us connect you with the information you need to navigate your next steps.

Complete the form to learn more about earning a degree in nutrition.


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B.S. in Nutrition

Degree Details

Learn more about this degree plan in the course catalog at the button below.


Find specific program information for each track at the “View Catalog” button.

Didactic Program in Dietetics
(Accreditation Information)
Nutrition General track

Find more information and opportunities below.

Required Hours

University Hours: 56
Major Hours: 55-67 (Choice of tracks)*
Electives: 5-17*

Total Required: 128 credit hours*

*Based on track selection

Example Coursework

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy I, II, and III
  • Community Nutrition
  • Food Systems Organization and Management
  • Nutrition Through the Life Cycle

View the catalog for a complete listing of courses.

Minor Available

ACU offers a minor in this study. You can learn more about this minor by viewing the catalog or explore all of the minors available at the button below. We encourage you to contact the department, for further assistance on how to enhance your degree with this minor.


Bachelor of Science in Nutrition

Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Prepare for your desired career within the nutrition field. If you’re interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, ACU’s Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) might be right for you as the first step in this process. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary for Dietitians in 2022 was $69,880.

How to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    1. Complete a bachelor’s degree and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program (e.g. a DPD program like the one at ACU.)
    2. Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (e.g. dietetic internship or individual supervised practice pathway)
    3. Effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam. 
    4. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s dietetic registration exam.

DPD Student Handbook
The estimated costs associated with the Didactic Program in Dietetics, including tuition and fees, necessary books and supplies, transportation, typical charges for room and board or housing, and any other program-specific costs are located within the DPD Student Handbook.

Additional information regarding graduation and program completion requirements can be found in the DPD Student Handbook and Catalog.


Let’s Get started

admissions Requirements

Admission into the DPD requires a formal application and interview process. The student must complete the DPD application and email it to the DPD director, Once the application is received, the student will be contacted to schedule a formal interview. The student must have at least 90 points on the application and a favorable interview to gain admittance into the DPD program. Students must have completed all of the following requirements in order to be eligible to submit a DPD admission application: 

  1. Must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0. 
  2. Must have complete 45 hours of course work
  3. For transfer students or students who change their major to Nutrition, must have taken at least 6 hours of nutrition courses at ACU and have been a nutrition major at ACU for at least 2 semesters
  4. Must have completed the following courses or their equivalent: CHEM 113, CHEM 114, BIOL 291/293, BIOL 292/294
  5. Must have attended one of the DPD Interest Meetings & signed the DPD handbook agreement form shown in Appendix B of the DPD student handbook. 

Application for
DPD Program Admittance

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements
  1. GPA minimum of 3.0 
  2. Satisfactory completion of all KRDN-related assignments (see above for more information on KRDN assignments)
  3. Successful completion of NDPD track degree plan


Assessment and Credit for Prior Learning

Experiential learning and experience will not be counted toward credit for DPD program requirements. ACU does not offer nor accept college credit for vocational/technical training or for work force education courses. The registrar will evaluate transferred courses according to the Texas equivalency code. If there is not a course equivalency code for a transferred nutrition course, the DPD director and department chair will review the course for equivalency. The course syllabus from the institution where credit was received may be required for review to determine course equivalency. Samples of work completed may also be required. The DPD director will meet with the Kinesiology and Nutrition Department Chair to determine course equivalency. The ACEND Core Knowledge Requirements for Didactic Programs in Dietetics, as well as university requirements, will be used to determine equivalency. If approved, the DPD Director or Chair of the Department will contact the Registrar’s Office. 


The Kinesiology and Nutrition Department has departmental scholarships. The Marie Wilmeth Scholarship is for nutrition majors and preferences is given to Nutrition majors for the Tonja Zickefoose Rushing Scholarship. Contact the financial aid office regarding details on how to apply to departmental scholarships.

Tonja Zickefoose Rushing Scholarship
  • GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Preference to nutrition majors and also to
    students who are single parents
  • character
  • academic ability
  • financial need

The Tonja Zickefoose Rushing Endowed Scholarship fund was established by Ben H. Zickefoose, Jr., in honor of his daughter, Tonja, and in recognition of her personal interest in the ACU Department of Exercise Science, Health & Nutrition. It is the desire of the donors that this endowment will enable generations of students to attend and receive a quality education from Abilene Christian University.

Marie Wilmeth Scholarship
  • Must be majoring in Nutrition
  • GPA of 2.0 or higher

The Marie Wilmeth Endowed Scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to ACU students based on character, leadership ability, academic ability, and financial need. Marie Wilmeth was a professor of home economics at ACU beginning in 1946. It is the desire of the donors that this endowment will enable generations of students to attend and receive a quality education from Abilene Christian University..


Additional information on scholarships and financial aid can be found on our website at the button below.

financial AID

Scholarship Information

Dietetic internships

Graduates of the DPD are prepared to enter dietetic internships.

On your Dietetic Internship application, you need to show that you meet the GPA requirements and have significant leadership, volunteer and work experience in a nutrition-related field. Applicants apply for Dietetic Internships through a computer-based approach that matches the preferences of applicants for Dietetic Internships (DIs) with the preferences of DI program directors.  Verification statements will be issued to students by the Director of the DPD upon graduation  and  completion of the DPD requirements. These verification statements can be provided to Dietetic Internship Directors when applying to dietetic internships.

Didactic Program in Dietetics majors may apply to dietetic internships accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics during their last year of undergraduate work. These internships take 6-24 months, and often include the MS degree.

Computer Matching Information for Dietetic Internships
Computer matching information from D & D Digital Systems is given to students who apply for dietetic internships and is explained to all students while they are enrolled in NUTR 401 Nutrition Seminar.  The deadline dates for registering for computer match and entering internships preferences on D & D Digital is February 15 for the spring match and September 25 for the fall match. The website for D & D Digital Systems is:


Learning Online

The DPD track is an in-person degree. However, some DPD coursework may be offered online. Online courses may require access to a computer with webcam capabilities for synchronous learning and/or identity verification for online exams. Find support for online courses at the button below.

Technology Service and Support

STATE Licensure

Many states, including Texas, require dietitians to be licensed in order to use the term Licensed Dietitian. A person who is registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration CDR, has already met the educational, experience, and examination requirements needed to apply for a Texas dietitian license.

MORE about licensure


“Our mission is to prepare graduates to enter supervised practice and graduate school leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become Registered Dietitians Nutritionists who serve and lead through exemplary practice in fields of nutrition and dietetics while modeling Christian values.”

Dr. Jones with the team

DPD goals are revised periodically and reflect long-term goals for students and the program as a whole.  Current goals:


Program Goal 1: Program graduates will gain acceptance into ACEND-accredited supervised practice programs and or graduate school.

  • At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
  • At least 80% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
  • Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least 80% of are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • At least 80% of the responding supervised practice program directors, graduate program directors, or employers will rate ACU DPD graduates’ performance as adequate or higher.
  • At least 80% of responding graduates who complete a dietetic internship will indicate they felt adequately prepared or greater for supervised practice.
  • At least 80% of graduates who applied for graduate school were admitted.


Program Goal 2: Program graduates will provide community and Christian service.

  • At least 80% of responding graduates will report they are serving the church or community.

Student Learning Assessment Outcomes (KRDN List)

All students are expected to achieve a passing score, as defined by the program, on all assignments or activities that measure one of the below ACEND required knowledge competencies.

Find more in the DPD Student Handbook.


Program outcomes data are available on request. Please send a written request to
Bethany Brady, DPD Director

Clubs and Activities

This major has many opportunities to learn outside the classroom, including:

  • Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • LEAN presentations and demonstrations
  • Field Experiences
  • Human Performance Laboratory
  • Student Recreation and Wellness Center


Other Paths in Nutrition

Dietetic Technician, Registered

DPD track graduates who do not choose or are not accepted into a Dietetic Internship, and or graduate school may apply to take the NDTR exam (through CDR) to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered. NDTRs work under the supervision of a registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) when in direct patient/client nutrition care in practice areas including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, retirement centers, and home-health programs. They also may be hired as independent practitioners in schools, day-care centers, health clubs, wellness centers, and food management companies.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has salary information of a dietetic technician.

Nutrition Generalist (NGEN)

Nutrition professionals have many different areas of food and nutrition in which they can be involved.  Careers are available in health promotion, community nutrition, and food service.  Some employers include Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), AgriLife Extension, supermarkets, school districts, wellness centers, and health departments.  Graduates will be qualified to counsel individuals and present to groups about normal nutrition, sports nutrition, and nutrition through the life cycle.  Within this concentration, twenty-four hours are available for taking more nutrition, kinesiology, science, communications, business, or psychology courses and offers flexibility if the Didactic Program in Dietetics is not desired or possible or for students that would like to enter medical school or other allied health graduate programs.

Accreditation Information

Didactic Program in Dietetics Concentration (NDPD)

Accreditation Status:Accredited
Date of Initial Accreditation: 2/1/1976
Accreditation Term Ends/Renewal Date: 12/31/2024
The Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND a division of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995,
Phone: (312)-899-0040, ext. 5400
Program outcomes data are available on request. Please send a written request to
Bethany Brady, DPD Director

In order to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN), students must successfully complete the BS in Nutrition from an ACEND accredited program with a DPD concentration, complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program, compete a graduate degree (effective January 1, 2024), and pass a national exam for RDNs.

See more details on how to become a RDN on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. During the last year of undergraduate work, students apply for the dietetic internship(s) of their choice. These internships take 6-24 months, and often include the MS degree.

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